"On Creativity, Reception, and Intermedia," by Roberto Kutcher

I would like to address what I perceive as a creative function implicit in perception and reception. This creativity in reception seems a necessary outcome of the interaction between an audience/receptor and a potentially foreign object (also treating the products of media as objects). The objects remain alien to the receptive subject in that they elude and exceed linguistic reification. Their semiotic valence resembles a gelatinous mass whose consistency depends on local circumstances and interactions, which are not universal, transcendent nor abstractable. I think that the insatiable practice of (media) theory testifies as much. Surely I do not think that some sort of consensus among theorists (whatever that might mean) would show that objects/media bear some actual quasi-scientific import; nor do I think that any fixation on or pursuit of truth with regards to this matter (again, I'm not sure what this would mean) would resolve it. Even though these orientations are meaningless in media theory, the fact that they are not and have not been so for other disciplines reveals the atypical nature of its object. The very character of the media avatar suggests an indomitability of objects/media. In their presence, media and objects are somewhat like monsters that need either translation or definite subjugation by some knightly master. We might think of scientists as one of the earliest media avatars in this sense, and Shelley's Frankenstein as an early representation.

I have already made the blunt assumption and assertion that one could trace the uncontainability of media and objects to their insufficient reification on the part of language. Perhaps there are other ways, other forms of relation and appropriation, that aside from language might make the media less alien. In opposition to the symbolic aspect of language, I would follow Steven Shaviro's treatment of affect as an alternative form of relation. However, I am reluctant to pursue this clear cut antinomy in unraveling the problem of reception and its creative openness. This is a point which I haven't fully developed yet.

For the paper I would like to narrow down the field by concentrating on art objects specifically. The two objects to which I will pay most attention will be sculpture and cinema. I will argue that both of these art objects (or media) are dependent upon a space which directs and allows for our reception of them as objects which exceed mere symbolic identification. In this sense the paper will elaborate on my keyword essay on “event". That essay led me to think of receptive spaces as matrixes of production which contradict our commonsense (scientifically informed) notion of homogenous space. I plan that a significant portion of my current essay will entail a comparative reading of Heidegger's essay “Art and Space” and Benjamin's “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. I will also draw on Prof. Mitchell's essays “What Sculpture Wants: Placing Antony Gormley” and “What Pictures Really Want”. In order to treat the issue of space I will also a discuss Minimalist sculpture as identifying a space as an intermedium as central to the work as the “object”. I will conclude the essay by comparing Minimalist sculpture's treatment of space as intermedia and cinema's use of the copy as a means of reproducing experience, without making its object any less ungraspable, in relation to the Fluxus artists prescriptive use of “Event Scores” as somewhat scripted, absurdist performances. For this last part I intend to treat Dick Higgins works on intermedia (I do not know which exactly yet) and also examine Hannah Higgins' book Fluxus.